After nearly 75 years, the Portland Children's Museum is shutting down permanently.
The museum, which features interactive exhibits aimed at young kids, initially closed last March at the start of the pandemic. Although it is now allowed to reopen, the state's guidelines regarding reduced attendance and cleaning protocols, coupled with restaffing 48 positions, would cause the institution to incur "an insurmountable financial deficit," according to a press release.
The Opal School, a 20-year-old private preschool and charter elementary school connected to the museum, will also cease operation.
Founded in 1946, the Portland Children's Museum is the oldest children's museum in the Western United States and sixth-oldest in the country. Initially located downtown, it moved to Washington Park in 2001, into the building that formerly housed the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Running on a funding model largely dependent upon paid admission, the museum sustained significant financial damage during the shutdown, the organization said. The museum's board considered several options for continuing operation, including a "mobile museum" and an expansion of digital presence, but "these options were not financially viable."
The organization will officially dissolve on June 30. In the intervening months, staff will look to donate materials to local nonprofits.